The FBC All the Sweet Things cookbook review!
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All the Sweet Things: Baked Goods and Stories from the Kitchen of SweetSugarBean by Renée Kohlman is the kind of cookbook that reads like a good novel that you can't put down. In the Introduction, I was captivated reading Renée's story about her journey from when she was a little girl helping her mom at the farmhouse to her little green kitchen, and then from chef to blogger to cookbook author. This cookbook is a result of perseverance and hard work.
After the Introduction, there’s a comprehensive guide to the Essential Baker's Pantry, Other Housekeeping Tidbits, and Useful Tools and Equipment to assist you with your baking needs.
The recipes are spread out throughout nine chapters.
- Dessert for Breakfast
- Cookies and Bars
- Muffins and Quick Breads
- Cakes and More Cakes
- Tarts and Pies
- Custards and Puddings
- To Give Away
- The Freezer Section
The over 100 recipes include 60 new recipes developed specifically for the cookbook. They're well written and easy to follow, and include gluten- and sugar-free variations. The layout of the recipe is all on one page starting with an anecdote, list of ingredients and baking instructions and ending with a Note on baking tips. Each recipe is accompanied by a beautiful colour photo that was captured by Renée. She used an iPhone to shoot all the photos in the cookbook. She's not just an excellent baker, but a very talented photographer as well.
While reading through the cookbook, I bookmarked so many recipes to make in each chapter that it was hard to choose which ones to feature in this review.
A few of the recipes I bookmarked include:
- Angel Food Cake French Toast, Buttermilk Scones, Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding
- Double Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Cinnamon Twists, Jam Jams
- Double Chocolate Zucchini Olive Oil Bread, Maple, Oat and Apple Bread, Brown Butter Buttermilk Banana Bead
- Mocha Bundt Bread, Spiced Apple Skillet Cake, Pear Gingerbread
- Saskatoon Berry Pie (if I can find Saskatoon berries), Tarte Tatin, Chocolate Marshmallow Pie
- Cranberry Curd, Eton Mess, Lemon Posset
- Sugar-Coated Cake Doughnuts, Butterhorns, Brown Butter Lemon Poppy Seed Madeleines
- Vanilla Bean Marshmallows, Chocolate-Swirled Molasses Meringues
- Salted Caramel Toffee Chip Ice Cream, Honey Bourbon Ice Cream
Double Chocolate Zucchini Olive Oil Bread (Page 102)
Zucchini, chocolate and olive oil are three of my favourite ingredients but I’d never used them together in a recipe. During the zucchini season, my mother-in-law used to bring us tons of zucchini from her garden. We would be eating delicious zucchini meals for days. I didn’t think at the time to bake with them.
This recipe is easy to make and comes together quite quickly after the prep is completed. I did have to squeeze the shredded zucchini dry (as per the Note in the recipe) before adding it to the batter. I impatiently waited for the bread to cool down to finally have a slice. The cocoa along with the chocolate chunks gives it an intense chocolate flavour while the zucchini keeps it from drying out. I loved every bite and couldn’t resist eating two slices. Renée was right; it’s best accompanied by a glass of cold milk.
This year we’ll be growing zucchini in our garden, and I’ll be making a few of this Double Chocolate Zucchini Olive Oil Bread to stash in the freezer — if they last that long.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- 2 cups shredded zucchini, skin on
- ½ cup dark chocolate chunks or chips
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the rack in the centre of the oven. Line a 9×5×3-inch loaf pan with parchment paper overhanging the sides. Lightly butter the paper.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and baking powder into a large bowl with the salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chunks. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, olive oil, buttermilk and vanilla in another bowl. Pour this into the zucchini mixture and stir just until combined.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50–60 minutes, until the bread has risen and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean but with a few crumbs clinging to it. Let the loaf cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove the loaf from the pan and let cool completely on the rack.
- Store the zucchini bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
Spiced Apple Skillet Cake with Streusel Topping (Page 128)
Since I developed an allergy to raw apples years ago, I can only eat them cooked as in applesauce or apple desserts. I’ve made many apple cakes, but this cake is different than the others as it has lentils in the ingredients to add protein and fibre.
This recipe is versatile as you can choose the apples of your choice or swap them with any other fruit. I used Granny Smith apples and opted to bake the cake in a 9-inch round pan as per the Note section of the recipe, as my iron skillet was in need of a good cleaning and seasoning. As the cake was baking, the aroma of the spices filled the kitchen making it seem it was an autumn day. Well, with the brisk weather we’ve had it wasn’t so hard to imagine.
I served the cake with a light dusting of icing sugar for our Sunday family supper dessert. Although we all loved the taste of this spiced apple-studded cake, some of us found the flavour of the spices was too intense, and the cake tasted a little buttery. Its muffin-like texture makes it acceptable to have a slice for breakfast or for snacking. My daughter and son-in-law brought half the cake home with them. No one (including me) tasted the addition of the lentils. I didn’t tell them about it either!
Butterhorns with Vanilla Drizzle (Page 244)
Rolls made with sweet buttery yeast dough and then drizzled with vanilla glaze … how I could not make this recipe?
The dough is prepared and then refrigerated overnight. When I took out the dough from the fridge the next morning, I was disappointed to see it had only risen slightly, but I still rolled and shaped the dough and let it rise for two hours in which the rolls doubled in size. Once baked and barely warm, I drizzled on the vanilla glaze. They tasted (I ate two at one sitting) light and buttery and the vanilla glaze adds just the right sweetness. I froze the rest before I could eat them all, which reminds me I should take them out of the freezer now so I can eat them for breakfast tomorrow or even later today or … any time is good for me.
I like everything about this book: the storytelling, photos, the colours, the layout, the lovely vintage plates, and best of all the recipes. Its simplicity and nostalgic feel make me want to go in the kitchen and bake. With all those recipes bookmarked, the All the Sweet Things cookbook is staying on my bookshelf.
All the Sweet Things: Baked Goods and Stories from the Kitchen of SweetSugarBean
Author: Renée Kohlman
Hardcover: 313 pages
Publisher: TouchWood Editions
Recipes and photos courtesy of TouchWood Editions. Copyright © 2017 Renée Kohlman. All rights reserved.
A review copy of All The Sweet Things was provided by TouchWood Editions.
The All the Sweet Things cookbook review was written by Liliana Tommasini, author of the aptly named blog My Cookbook Addiction. Her passion for baking and cooking began at an early age. Liliana grew up in an Italian household where each meal was made from scratch with fresh ingredients and Sunday family lunches were always a celebration. She has a passion for collecting cookbooks and believes that every recipe tells a story that must be shared to nourish your soul and feed your belly. You can connect with Liliana on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.